how solar works

Just as trees and plants harness the energy of the sun, so do solar panels. The photovoltaic cells in the solar panels capture sunlight using semi conductor materials and convert it into electricity. A solar-powered pocket calculator is a micro-version of this principle.

Advanced science
Solar cells consist of many thin layers of silicon and as the sunlight strikes, electrons within each solar cell are dislodged. The freed electrons can then only return through an external circuit, causing electricity to flow.

Because sunlight is present even when the sky is overcast, photovoltaic solar panels will produce electricity whatever the weather. However, the stronger the sunlight the more electricity will be produced at any one time.

Night time
PV solar panels do not produce electricity at night but, because the system is connected to the National Grid, electricity can be ‘imported’ to make up the shortfall. Equally, when a PV solar electric system is producing surplus energy it is ‘exported’ to the Grid earning you extra money.

Solar thermal heating
Solar thermal heating works even on a similar principle but does not generate electricity. Rather, water is indirectly heated by the sun using either evacuated tubes or flat plate collectors.

For further information and a free home technical survey please call 0800 316 9560

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